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Anderson Cooper 360

News/Business. (2013) (CC)




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Us 9, Ella 6, South Carolina 6, Ashleigh 4, United States 4, Cnn 4, Sandy 4, Margaret 4, Rosalind 3, Washington 3, U.s. 3, Steubenville 3, America 3, Connecticut 2, Margaret Hoover 2, Randi Kaye 2, Jimmy Kimmel 2, Gethelp 2, Boehner 2, Brown 2,
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  CNN    Anderson Cooper 360    News/Business.  (2013)  (CC)  

    January 4, 2013
    1:00 - 2:00am PST  

full, not glass half empty. but people will say it's a lot easier for you, mate, you're selling tens of millions of books, you're making hundreds of millions of dollars, you're married to this beautiful woman, life's pretty damn good for you. what if i've lost my house, my car, can't feed my kids as tens of millions of americans right now are going through that? what do you say about that? how do you convince them to take your lead? >> the hope, the big part of ministry -- we face difficulties, too, but our hearts go out to people. if you get up in the morning and think life is lousy, there's nothing good in my future, i don't want to go to work, i don't feel well, you're going to draw in more negativity, you're going to get bitter on life, you're going to miss your purpose. you got to get up and find something to be grateful for. >> that's it for us tonight. it's been an extraordinary year. thank you for watching. something to be grateful for. >> that's it for us tonight.
it's been an extraordinary year. thank you for watching. we begin tonight keeping them honest in the eastern ohio city of stubenville. plenty of good people live in stubenville, our program tonight is not about them. it's about two members of the local high school football team. hometown heroes now charged with raping a teenage girl back in august. it's about young witnesses who instead of doing what good people do, took pictures, took video, and then some of those pictures and that video was leaked online. it's about those who attacked the alleged victim. tonight's program is about young and old most who down played what happened because they care so much about the local high school football team.
hometown heroes now charged with raping a teenage girl back in august. it's about young witnesses who this is not about them. poppy harlow begins our coverage. >> reporter: on the night of august 11th, teenagers gathered to celebrate the end of september. the first day of school was two weeks away. by many accounts, there was heavy drinking going on for most of the night spread out over several different parties. it seems that there was more than that, far more. tweets, photos, and videos possibly document a crime from that night. an alleged sexual assault of a seemingly intoxicated, unconscious underaged teenage girl by members of the high school football team. an assault that other partygoers allegedly watched and later shared details online. this tweet from a partygoer reads, song of the night is definitely "rape me" by nirvana. other tweets call the girl sloppy and talk about a dead body, referring to the girl's state of unconsciousness. one tweet even refers to the fact that the girl may have been urinated on. though there is no evidence that actually happened. three days after the party, the
girl's parents came forward and filed a report of alleged sexual assault. they came with a flash drive and incriminating tweets that were found online. many of the postings were soon taken down. the police chief in steubenville said he asked for any witnesses to come forward of any details that they saw that night but received almost no responses. on august 22nd, two 16-year-old members of the football team, trent mays and ma'lik richmond were arrested. they were later charged with rape and mays was also charged with disseminating photographs of a nude minor. the arrest created a fissure in the community. some came to the boys' defense saying they were unfairly and too quickly accused. and others were relieved, tired, they said, of the anything goes culture for the popular football players. mays' lawyer denies a rape occurred and says he will challenge whether any possible sexual activity was consensual. >> you're a football player, you
get to do what you want as long as you have a winning season. >> reporter: alec goddard, a blogger and former steubenville resident looked into this story after hearing that high school football players were involved. goddard found most of the online postings and reposted them on her website before they were taken down. >> i found -- i went through the twitter accounts and i found very disturbing messages, basically laying out a timeline of what happened that evening and found the cache of the youtube video, just found all of the social media which told the story of what happened that >> reporter: mays' lawyer told cnn it's his client who has been treated unfairly online, and that he will be found innocent. >> greetings citizens of the world. we are anonymous. >> reporter: then, on december 23rd, the internet hacker group anonymous got involved, threatening to release information on the high school
football players involved in the incident unless a public apology was made to the alleged victim by january 1st. >> we will not sit tightly by and watch a group of young men who will turn to rape as a game or sport get the pass because of athletic ability and small-town luck. you now have the world looking directly at you. >> reporter: the deadline passed with no apology, and anonymous posted this picture online, showing a girl who was seemingly unconscious being carried by her hands and feet by two males. cnn cannot verify that this is a photo of the alleged victim. they also posted this 12-minute video where partygoers talk about the alleged assault and continually joke about the girl's condition. even at one point saying must have died because she didn't move during the alleged assault. >> what if that was your daughter? >> but it isn't. if that was my daughter, i wouldn't care. i'd just let her be dead. >> poppy harlow is joining me live from steubenville. i know you had a chance to talk to the chief of police of that
town. what's he saying about all of this to you? >> reporter: well, he's incredibly disturbed as many are. he was not allowed to talk about the details of the investigation, which is still ongoing. these two young men will go to trial on february 13th but this is what he told me disturbs him most. >> the thing i found disturbing is depending on who actually was there, why didn't somebody stop it? i mean, you simply don't do that. i mean, it's -- it's not done. >> reporter: it's important, ashleigh, to point out obviously these two men are innocent until found guilty. again, they're going to stand trial in about a month. but obviously he's sickened that no one stepped in here, if indeed these allegations are true. >> but from a lot of the reporting, poppy, not everyone is sickened by this and i know you've had a chance to be in that town all day long. is it tense? what does it feel like there? what are people saying? >> reporter: it's depressing.
people feel like there's a black cloud over their town. i met a mother in front of the local school today because the elementary school is in the same building as the high school. she was pulling her first grade child out, ashleigh, because she felt they were being threatened. that there was so much negative focus on the town of this school, she was worried about the safety of her child. i spoke with a lot of local business owners and one of them explained to me how it feels. he's lived here for more than 70 years. >> the buzz that keeps coming about is that stubenville is a bad place, things are being covered up, more people should be arrested. and i feel that's all unjustly so. >> reporter: why? >> because i think that to condemn an entire city for something that happened is
not -- it's not right to condemn a school, an entire school and all of the kids that go there for something that took place along a few students is still not right. >> reporter: he said to me, ashleigh, feels like this town is being looked at like penn state in the wake of that scandal. i do want to tell you that i spoke today with the father of one of the football players on that team and he told me, quote, he said to me, it has divided people to take a position on an incident that may not have even occurred. the alleged rape. so there you have someone questioning if this is even true. ashleigh? >> well, that will certainly be discussed in a court of law. poppy harlow, thank you for that. our susan candiotti has more on the latest details of the investigation. she joins me live now. listen, it doesn't matter what people say. it matters what the police have and it matters what evidence exists. what have you been able to find out about the gathering of that evidence? >> well, we won't find out for sure until we see watts presented at trial, if it begins as expected next month. the latest i'm hearing,
ashleigh s that prosecutors and police have been able to recover at least a dozen cell phones, a couple of ipads that they've been going through an analyzing, going through by a team of specialists. now, the police chief told me that they got back what they could get back, saying that because there have been reports that some of the cell phone videos and/or photos were deleted by some of the people who own them. however, there is also information that other information was able to be retrieved by these specialists. so the police chief tells me that they did get some evidence from the phones. >> and is there an issue about consent? i mean, the photograph that we saw in poppy's piece was just repulsive. there's no way anybody in that condition could consent to any of the allegations. but is consent an issue for this case? >> it will be an issue, according to one of the defense attorneys who represents trent mays, one of the 16-year-olds who is charged. now, he maintains that no rape
occurred. the lawyer speaking on behalf of his client indicates to me that he will challenge whether any possible sexual activity was consensual. he says that mays and the alleged victim in this case are boyfriend and girlfriend. well, all of that is being contradicted, of course, by prosecutors who had a probable cause hearing last october told the court, in their words, that the defendants treated the alleged victim, quote, like a toy. and as they put it, we don't have to prove that she said no. we just have to prove that they are doing things to her. she's not moving. she's not responsive. and the evidence is consistent and clear, as they put it. >> and extraordinarily disturbing, i might add. susan candiotti, thank you. i also want to talk more about this notion that people, some people, witnessed and not only did not do the right thing, they did some of the worst things imaginable.
dr. drew pinsky joins us now along with rosalind wiseman who has been researching teen boys and group behavior for her new book "masterminds and wingmen" and our senior legal analyst jeffrey toobin. rosalind, let me begin with you. posting these things online, you don't have to tell your children that you're not allowed to rape for them to know that you are not allowed to rape. so what is it about teen boys -- and again these are allegations but what is it about the teen boys that they would think it's okay to do this and for those who didn't do it to post it and brag about it or joke about it? >> well, i think there's a minority of boys who think this is okay and a lot more boys who have no idea what to do about it. and sometimes boys laugh because they are uncomfortable and they are feeling like i have no idea what to do. and i think the reason they don't know what to do is two reasons and one that i think is most important that is going on here.
these boys feel if they said anything about it, that they would not be believed, or the adults in the community would not take care of it. and what i'm hearing from these people is even if it's not rape. let's just say that's not the case. do you actually want boys to conduct themselves and have relationships with girls and talk about girls in this way? as a parent of two boys, i would be so fundamentally ashamed of myself as a mother if my boys talked about girls and women like this, let alone what they did, whatever you want to call it. so for me, as somebody who cares about boys, who works with boys, who knows that most of them want to do the right thing, what we have got to understand is that what it's looking like to me is that there's a lot of boys in this community who do not have faith in the adults that they will do the right thing. they have taught them the basic necessities and rules of how you conduct yourself. >> and just to sort of dovetail off of that, dr. drew, jump in
here. i know that you have a very strong opinion about alcohol and how that fuels the flames but let me tell you, alcohol has been around for a long time and this is one of those stories that sort of beats the rest. >> yes. we should all be disgusted and we should all be scared to death because here's what all of us that are parents are standing here doing, not my kid. but the fact is we live in a world where we don't know that. pornography has been raining down on these kids and they are treating particularly women, these young men, as objects because that's what they get on the internet these days and unless you actively parent against that, you could be stuck with this. >> so, drew -- >> on top of that. wait, ashleigh, but any measure of adverse outcome, you find alcohol and drugs. whether it's rape, stds, unwanted pregnancies, whatever it is, you always find alcohol. we have to be much more firm and interzone more aggressively
on the alcohol issue. >> the "new york times" reported the genesis was a very big end of summer party at a coach's house that had a full bar and little plastic glasses provided. certainly there was a lot of alcohol. >> ashleigh, i told my kids if they go to a party where a parent is doing that, i'm going to call the sheriff's. because they are accountable for this. >> listen, they will see civil suits in this, make no mistake. i sense this is a story down the line. go ahead, rosalind. >> the thing is that coaches are so meaningful to kids. they are such incredible role models and the coaches that i work with -- and there are some extraordinary coaches -- know that they are so much more than teaching boys on the field. that they are teaching boys what it means to be a man. and so what i'm thinking is that the coach failed these children in the most fundamental way possible. and for the parents out there, when you're thinking about what do you want to teach your sons, it is not good enough, in my experience, parents are saying to boys four things. they are saying, be a gentleman but they are not really saying
what that looks like and they are also saying things like, don't get her pregnant, don't get an std. if you do something, don't do something stupid and if you do something stupid, don't get caught. this is what boys are telling me that their parents are telling them. >> on the subject of coaches -- >> what kind of message are we telling them? >> on the subject of coaches, the "new york times" sent one of their reporters to ask this coach, the head coach why weren't these players benched after these charges and the response they got -- i'm going to quote the times on this -- "you made me mad now, you're going to get yours and if you don't get yours, somebody close to you will." and so this is the idolized head coach of this team. jeffrey toobin, there were other voices, clearly, there were lots of photographs that included other boys. how can you investigate this and tell the defrifference between a conspirator, somebody who also needs to be charged and somebody who is a bystander who doesn't have a legal duty to respond? >> this story is really only a little bit about law.
it's mostly about values and culture and parenting. because the rapists, if they are rapists, can be prosecuted and certainly the sheriff can try to gather as much evidence as possible. obviously the best thing would be if there were photographs, some sort of recordings like that. but the larger community that protects people who rape, that gives kids alcohol, most of that is beyond the reach of the law. the kids who are laughing, the kids who are saying stupid things. >> not in california. >> well, giving the alcohol, you're right about that, drew. that is a crime. but the kids who are laughing and there's a 12-minute video online about kids saying stupid things. i don't see that as a crime. i see that as a real stupid, bad kid. but that's not something that the law can or probably should get involved in. >> no. right. it's a clarion call for parents to be careful about what's happening to their kids because of the culture we live in. think about the world we're living in, jeffrey. that's exactly right.
this speaks volumes about our culture and it's not about that little town. it's something that we as parents have to pay attention to. >> i've seen plenty of prosecutions, by the way, of people who think they are posting a cute picture of their girlfriend and they get slapped with child sex offenses, child pornography suits and they end up being registered sex offenders for life, and these are teenagers. is that something that these kids who are involved in posting these alleged crimes could face? >> it's possible. and, remember, one of the two defendants already is charged with distributing a photograph of an underaged -- >> could he end up being a registered sex offender for life? >> of course. he's also being charged with rape. that would make him a sex offender. >> but he could beat the charges. if he beat the charges, you can't necessarily beat the charges when they have your phone and you posted something. >> that's true. but the legal aspect of this is actually fairly straightforward. you know, you find out -- you get the victim's testimony, you
get as many witnesses as you can, but this story is so much bigger than that and so much more complicated because most of what appalls us, what the police chief is talking about, is something that the law cannot reach. >> rosalind, the police chief did say that he has been struggling and begging for witnesses to come forward and help in this investigation. and so far it looks as though only two or three teammates have come forward and have ended up being prosecutorial witnesses in this case. am i crazy to think that that's crazy, that people are not coming forward? or am i naive? >> no, you are not. what's happening is that for good reason -- and i don't know what that reason is -- but i know from working with kids for a long time that they are not coming forward for a long time because they think if they come forward they will be the ones who are punished. they don't have confidence in the adults in the community that they will do right by them. i am begging parents, begging them who are in in community, if
you say it's just a fluke, just a thing that got out of control, just a couple of bad kids, let me tell you, you are wrong. this is not a little glimpse into their life. it's a window. >> dr. drew pinsky and rosalind, jeff toobin, thank you very much. >> thanks for having me. >> i wish we could talk under different circumstances. coming up next, a whole other story. they swear in a brand new congress and the question is are we all going to be swearing at the brand new congress soon? possibility of more budget showdowns to come. yay. all that when "360" continues. 
raw politics tonight, the terrifying likelihood of fiscal cliff the sequel. fiscal cliff part 3, fiscal
cliff the menace and a whole lot more headlines like that, trust me. but one thing is very clear, people, trust me, a star, the original john boehner is going to be back to reprise his role. he narrowly won his re-election today, and as he's known to do, he got a little emotional. >> if you come here humbled by the opportunity to serve, if you've come here to be the determined voice of the people, if you've come here to carry the standard of leadership not demanded by our constituents but by the times, then you've come to the right place. [ applause ] >> speaker boehner will have fewer republicans in his camp for the 113th congress but he will still have that all-important working majority. in the meantime, over on the senate side, illinois republican
mark kirk, watch closely, these are 45 more strides in a comeback from a stroke. he made it his mission to climb all of the capitol steps on his return to work. the first inspiring moment of the new congress. it was bipartisan. it was happy. it was inspiring to americans. and then it ended. will it be the only inspiring moment for us, though? joining us now, "new york times" op-ed columnist charles flow who foresees not such inspiration, and to his right, the lovely and talented margaret hoover, and chief business correspondent ali velshi. he is also lovely and talented. i want to start with you, ali. i just have to laugh with this because otherwise i will cry. honestly i'm just so tired of this. i know that people in the media are not the only ones that are tired of it. we are all tired of it. and yet you say we've got valentine's debt ceilings, st.
patrick's day sequester and then the budget deal after that. is there any reason to believe it's going to be different? >> the only good thing is that everybody's engaged. americans know more about their economic issues and budgetary issues than we have in a long time. people are taking it seriously, and i think congress seems to be getting the message, don't worry about the media, worry about your constituents who are actually mad. they want to get something done. the biggest problem is there is a lot of misinformation about what is going on. margaret is not happy that i've been saying this. the gop needs to learn the difference between a debt and debt ceiling. the debt ceiling was put in there so the treasury didn't have to keep issuing bonds. most other countries when they issue legislation that has money, it is spent. america has an extra stopgap. it was not meant to control the treasury, it was the opposite, it's meant to give treasury enough room to issue bonds so they didn't have to keep doing it. using the debt ceiling and the ability to pay our bills for things we've already spent is just outrageous. it was outrageous in august and
it continues to be outrageous, but the republicans continue to use this language that somehow it's to control spending. it's just incorrect. >> so back them up only in the fact that there are plenty of republicans who say, good god, do not use this. this will kill us. >> the question is, if we went over the cliff or failed to raise the debt ceiling, certainly there would be dire consequences. the question is, when else is the congress of the united states going to do anything proactively about spending? they have proven definitively over the last 70 years that they cannot do it. and this has become, for better or for worse, the pivot point. the demarkation, the line in the sand. president obama says, is he not going to tolerate a debt ceiling fight but the truth is, it doesn't matter whether he's going to tolerate it or not. >> it's not for better or worse, margaret, and you know that. you know it's absolutely for worse. the idea that getting -- >> is getting our spending under control for worse, though? >> one second, one second. the idea that you would allow us to default is outrageous.
and there's no way to even kind of deal with that and to argue that as a legitimate point. >> but do you think arguing that we go off the cliff might be a way to secure a deal? >> you do have the fight over sequester. you may have a budget. i'm not saying you don't have a fight. i'm not saying you don't have an argument. i'm just saying using the debt ceiling as a point -- >> you don't like it. >> it's not about like. it's about destroying the u.s. economy in the process. >> everyone is talking about the leverage of the debt ceiling. what is the actual damage? >> the damage is -- well, moody's has already warned of it and s&p has warned again that if we do default, the debt rating of the united states, even if we don't default, if we don't increase the debt limit, the debt rating of the united states may be lowered. here's the practical application of that. generally speaking, if you have a credit rate and your credit rating gets damaged, your rate goes up. the last time this happened in august 2011, america's rates didn't go up. they went down. why? because europe was out there in more of a mess than america was. today that's not necessarily the
case. we still have a very low borrowing rate. if our borrowing rate goes up as a result of this, that costs everybody. every loan that everybody touches goes up. >> back in 2011 it was widely reported that we were downgraded not because we reached that deal and it wasn't appealing, just because we were just intransigent and that's what led to the downgrade. and it looks like we're about to be a lot more intransigent. >> i think the idea that we are not a functioning government y anymore. that you look at washington and they are incapable of doing the perfunctory work. >> why? what all of a sudden happen? is it cable news? come on. i'm sorry for being a pollyanna here, but i came to this country 12 years ago -- excuse me, almost 20 years ago. it's gone fast. >> two canadians at the table.
>> i know, right? and when i got here, it was not like this and cable news was just starting and i sometimes wonder if it's just because you do not want to be called out on tv. >> it could be finance t could be a bunch of things. but where i'm telling you clearly right now, the problem here is the gop on the debt limit. once we get past that, the problem's probably going to become the democrats on spending. and margaret says the problem is if you let the debt limit go by, republicans have no leverage. >> you do have the sequester and you have to look at the tea party caucus in the house of representatives. according to what i read, 52% -- 52 of the 59 members of the tea party caucus voted against the bill that prevented us from going over the fiscal cliff. those people are not in washington to play ball. they are in to be dug into their holes, and that is a problem. >> they may have a merit to their beliefs but don't we all have to negotiate, margaret? >> correct. and the question is and the challenge is, they are very scattered, there is no central
leadership. boehner is dinged from this last round. will they get organized? will they decide what they are going to live with? will they learn the lesson from plan b that they would have came out with a lot better deal than they got and will they play ball? >> well, you know what, they should all go for a beer. it seems to work everywhere else in this country. >> a beer summit. >> except for harry reid. sorry, senator. i didn't mean you. >> ali velshi, margaret hoover, thank you. you're all just awesome. i love you. >> i want to move on to other news of the day, and i'm sorry to say it's not something that i like to report. it was a very emotional day in connecticut. the children of sandy hook elementary school, they have been out of school since the gunman killed 20 of the classmates, they have returned to class. gary tuchman has a great report from newtown coming up next. çtol
the students of sandy hook elementary school went back to
school today for the first time since the shooting that killed 20 of their classmates and six adults in the newtown, connecticut school. students were relocated to a different one, a different building altogether, in a different town in monroe, connecticut. that's because sandy hook is still part of an active investigation and they don't know if the kids will return to that building. there is certainly increased security at the new school, an upgraded system of cameras and locks. of course, a very emotional day for everyone. the school superintendent said that they would try to make it as much of a normal routine as possible, doing the kinds of things that they know are good for kids and that they would be familiar with. gary tuchman had a chance to speak to a couple of people from newtown, who were certainly in our thoughts today. one set of the parents sent their 7-year-old daughter back to school today. >> reporter: ella is a first grader at sandy hook elementary. >> what do you think you are going to do today? >> i don't know.
>> you don't know in excited to see everyone? >> uh-huh. >> chew. >> reporter: she is eating breakfast, getting ready for her first day of school since the horrible day three weeks ago. >> it's a cheesy egg sandwich, one of our favorites, right? with ketchup. >> reporter: she had her nails painted with sandy hook colors. and with the school initials "s" and "h." her mom and dad, amy and ed, believe that she is emotionally ready to go back to the school in the neighboring town where sandy hook for the time being has been relocated. >> have you decided how mom is going to do your hair? >> yeah, you're going to braid my hair and i'm going to keep the headband on. >> reporter: how do you feel about ella going back to school? >> it's mixed emotions. you know, it's good, she needs to go back. they all need to go back. they say the best thing you can do is get back to your normal routine, all that being one of the hardest things you can do. i'm sure they will be safe. i'm sure that school is going to
be like ft. knox today but you worry -- the fear is how they will react. >> reporter: ella was in a first grade class down the hall from where the shootings took place. her teacher told all of the children to go into the cubbies, where they keep their jackets and books. there was a knock on the classroom door. to everyone's relief, it was the police. >> down the hallway apparently there was a line of officers there and said, you know, close your eyes, you know, and they came right out of the school real quick. >> reporter: does she know that her friends have died? >> oh, yeah. oh, yeah. she personally wanted to go to some of the wakes and some of the funerals. >> reporter: and did you that? >> that was her choice. and -- >> reporter: that was really smart of you. >> i don't know. some people would tell me it wasn't. >> reporter: i think it was. to be honest, to your children, as long as they have good parents. >> well, i hope. it was hard. she spent one of the funerals kicking the pew in front of her which i realize was anger. >> reporter: ella says she's nervous but excited to go back to school. she loves math. >> tell me why you love math so much.
>> i just think it's fun. even though it's hard, we get fun activities to do. and i like working in our workbooks. >> reporter: do you know what one plus one is? >> yes. >> three, right? >> no, it's two. >> reporter: you are right. see, i didn't pay attention in first grade. you obviously are. ella is clearly ready to start the day. the former middle school has been renovated and retrofitted over the past weeks for its smaller occupants. it's a frigid day and then it's time to head out to the bus stop where she joins three other children and their mothers as the bus pulls up. >> be good. love you. >> okay. put me down before my skirt goes up. >> okay. >> love you. >> reporter: the children run to the bus. the bus driver is a familiar face to the kids and the parents. but we watch the parents' faces
carefully. they all vividly remember what happened the last day they put their children on the very same school bus. on the first day back, parents were encouraged to spend the day at school with their children so many parents did. there isn't enough parking at the school so buses were provided for the parents, too. just after 4:00 p.m., ella returned home. her first day back turned out to be just fine. >> good? really good? >> yeah. >> reporter: sandy hook elementary is open once again. ga gary tuchman, cnn. >> coming up, an adoption battle that centers on a little girl named veronica. the two families who love her and who want to raise her are soon going to find out if the u.s. supreme court will even weigh in on their fate.
a "360" follow up. tomorrow could be a turning point in a story we've been following for months.
it's a heartbreaking adoption battle. and it's centered around this adorable toddler named as veronica. the south carolina couple that she's known as mommy and daddy for most of her life is fighting to get her back. they petitioned the u.s. supreme court to overturn the ruling that took her away from them and gave her biological father custody of little veronica. and now veronica lives in another state altogether. in a private conference room tomorrow, the supreme court justices will discuss this case and they'll decide whether or not they are even going to review it. the court's decision will most certainly shape these two families' futures and possibly a lot of other futures, too. here's randi kaye. >> this is video from the last time matt and melanie capobianco saw veronica, new year's eve 2011. they had raised her for two years and were in the process of adopting her when a south carolina family court ordered them to hand her over to her
biological father. >> do you think it was in her best interest? >> i think so. >> reporter: a man veronica had never even met. >> for a little girl to be put in a car with strangers and driven to oklahoma having no recourse or control over it, you know, we're her parents. i'm her father, you know. it's supposed to be there to protect her. >> you want to be an engineer when you grow up? >> yes. >> reporter: now 3, veronica is caught in the middle of one of the strangest adoption cases we've ever heard. it all began in 2009 before she was born when veronica's biological mother put her up for adoption. the couple was thrilled when an adoption attorney connected them with veronica's biological mom. she told them that the father, dustin brown, had agreed to
waive his parental rights. when veronica was born, it was matt that cut the umbilical cord. ever since she lived with them in south carolina. >> i guess people think that we're not supposed to love her until the ink is dry, kind of care for her until everything is, you know, years down the line and she's adopted. >> reporter: the couple were heartbroken when four months after they brought veronica home her biological father filed for paternity and custody even though he had already signed a legal document saying he would not contest veronica's adoption. he was able to do so, thanks to a little known federal law from 1978 called the indian child welfare act. you see, brown is part cherokee and a member of the cherokee nation which means veronica is part cherokee, too. congress passed the law after finding 30% of indian children were being removed from their homes and almost all of them were being placed with non-indian families. the law is designed to keep indian children with indian family members and protect the
interests of those children. >> i don't know how tearing a child away from the only family she's ever known without any transition period and no visitation is in her best interest. >> reporter: the attorney general for the cherokee nation thinks the law is working. >> it's not anyone's ever intent to rip a child away from a loving home but we want to make sure those loving homes have the opportunity to be indian homes first. >> reporter: after the family court ruled in dustin brown's favor, the couple petitioned the south carolina petition court hoping the higher court would overturn the ruling. in july, after three months of waiting they got more bad news. the supreme court in south carolina ruled in favor of the biological father. it wasn't an easy decision for the court, though. the justices were split 3-2. in the majority opinion, they wrote, they are upholding the family court's ruling with a
heavy heart. the majority opinion concluded the biological father and his family have created a safe, loving, and appropriate home for her. those in the dissenting opinion argued federal law should not trump state law, knowing that the father knowingly abandoned his fatherly responsibilities in every respect. lawyers for brown say that he is a good parent, and that veronica is happy, healthy and thriving. they say they have only been allowed to speak with her once. >> we told her we loved her and she said i love you, too. and that was it. >> that was it. >> but matt and melanie haven't given up. they are taking their case to the united states supreme court. >> you don't ever stop fighting for your child. ever. >> the united states supreme court according to our legal experts, doesn't take that many
cases. they get 7,000 cases a year and they take about 80. >> yep. >> reporter: why do you think they should take this one? >> so many families have been hurt by the misuse of this law and we've said before, too, we don't think it's necessarily a bad law with bad intention, but it's definitely being misused. it doesn't apply. she wasn't removed from an existent indian home. she was never in an indian home. she was with us from the very beginning. >> this is her room. >> reporter: and in some ways, veronica is still with them. her bedroom is still set up. i look around and i see her toys and her books and her little cook set. >> it makes it harder but taking it away is the hardest. >> you know, this is her home. it will always be her home but she's going to come home. she's going to play with the stuff again. >> it's a symbol of our hope that she's coming home. >> reporter: randi kaye, cnn, charleston, south carolina. >> that is tough to watch.
we're going to follow the court's decision very closely in the days ahead and of course we're going to bring it to you. still to come, secretary of state hillary clinton back at home after being hospitalized with a blood clot and now there is word about when she's going to return to work and we're going to have it for you next. [ male announcer ] break the grip of back or arthritis pain
with odor free aspercreme. powerful medicine relieves pain fast, with no odor. so all you notice is relief. aspercreme. late word that venezuelan president hugo chavez is battling a severe lung infection and has respiratory insuffici t
insufficient. he hasn't been seen publicly since he had cancer surgery in cuba more than three weeks ago. he's scheduled to take the oath of office for a new six-year term in just a few days. secretary of state hillary clinton has been out of the hospital for just about 24 hours now. she's continuing to recover at home from a blood clot in her head. the state department says she is looking forward to getting back to the office and plans to return next week. and a terrifying ordeal on a partially frozen lake in arizona. two teens clung to a dead tree for roughly two hours waiting for rescuers to reach them. the ice started to crack after they ventured on to it. they were reportedly treated for mild hypothermia, a very close call. new jobless numbers will be out tomorrow morning, financial an lers alysts are expecting li change in the unemployment picture. indeed many expect at best very slow improvement all year long. some career counselors are urging clients to do all they
can to keep their present jobs, even as they prepare for what is hoped to be more opportunities later in the year. tom foreman has tonight's "american journey." >> reporter: roughly 5 million americans are out of week, so career counselors are starting 2013 with a clear message, keep hanging on. >> it's more than we would like, but it's incredibly competitive right now whether you're working or not working. i think individuals that have that advantage of having employment right now should make sure they're taking full advantage of that. >> reporter: that, they say, means three things. first, ask for opportunity, build your professional network inside and outside of your office, workers who go unnoticed are often the first to go out the door. >> they don't raise their hand. they don't raise their hand for the difficult projects. they don't ask for lateral moves, they don't ask for more responsibility, they don't join teams. these are things that companies look for for people for the
longer haul. >> reporter: she works for the apollo research institute, which promotes further education. that's what many job advisers say is the second key, take advantage of every training opportunity. >> times are tough. you're always going to be looking at how to grow your skills. whether it's for your current employer in your current position, or perhaps it's something down the road. >> reporter: and lastly -- ♪ -- unlike the unhappy guys in the movie "office space," embrace all sorts of technology. >> by the year 2020, over 75% of jobs will have a technology component. i think that's very important for people to understand for longevity. and for employment in the future. >> reporter: staying employed this year will be easier in some fields than in others, of course. jobs in health care and business services like sales are expected
to be plentiful. as 2013 goes on, the job market is predicted to pick up steam, setting the stage for better days in the next new year. tom foreman, cnn, washington. >> we'll be right back with the ridiculist. >> announcer: you never know when, but thieves can steal your identity and turn your life upside down. >> hi. >> hi. you know, i can save you 15% today if you open up a charge card account with us. >> you just read my mind. >> announcer: just one little piece of information and they can open bogus accounts, stealing your credit, your money and ruining your reputation. that's why you need lifelock to relentlessly protect what matters most... [beeping...] helping stop crooks before your identity is attacked. and now you can have the most comprehensive identity theft
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tonight number two on the 2012 ridiculist countdown and this one has jimmy kimmel. take a look.
>> i don't know if you're aware of this, but there have been a few occasions where in this part of the show where i've had some trouble and haven't been able to stop laughing, especially when certain words come up, really high brow stuff. i can only hope we never do a ridiculist about the french novelist henri deballsak. look, i'm not proud of it, but i can't help it. i have the sense of humor of a 1-year-old. jimmy kimmel has a theory. watch this from "jimmy kimmel live." >> this is from the "ac 360 show." at the end of the show anderson does a show called the "ridiculist." it tickled mr. cooper, to say the least. >> the girl striking back with a tap from a pussy willow branch. [ laughter ]
all right. [ laughter ] i've got to let it out. >> i think anderson cooper is high. how else do you explain that? [ applause ] the word pussy willow is not that funny. no word is that funny. nothing has ever been that funny. i like to see drug tests all around. and get a sample from wolf blitzer while you're at it. s he's starting to look like the guy on the zigzag packet. >> first, let's see the zigzag packet of which mr. kimmel speaks. all right. there might be a slight resemblance.